As a professional
designer since 1976, and a creative director and art consultant
than three decades, I have come to realize that many people
do indeed, in good faith, ignore what is a designer and how to work with
Apart from companies and corporations who deal with different kinds
of design needs, the average person tends to confuse the role and
potential of the designer to that of a draftsman, i.e. : someone who
will draw what he, the customer, will tell him to do.
That is not
what a designer does. In fact this is the worst mistake
a potential customer can do, because most of the time he is not
generally aware or acquainted with the specific language of design, its
rules, the subtle harmony that is required in each design, be it
coins and stamps,
and so forth.
Moreover he, the customer, may not only overlook many details but
it is not trained in the creative process of viewing with the mind.
Then what good is hiring a designer for? A designer is
someone who is trained to respond to your aspirations for something that
you expect to be as unique as possible, yet cannot express
it graphically. You, as the customer, should say in
general terms what is it that you want from a sword. My most
sucessful designs were when customers told me they wanted something
unique, in wood and metal. Please create something. That
does not happen often but it is when the creativity can be fully
1. Before you approach me, gather and organize your main wishes. Don't
start changing your opinions and options after the work has started. You
will be wasting valuable time and effort.
2. Make sure you communicate very clearly and that you have made up
your mind on your preferences.
3. Allow me space for creativity. This is how all the swords that
came to be what they are. After all, if you are paying for my work, not
matter how symbolically, you are not ordering a sword from a blade smith
and then telling him how you wish him to normalize the steel, temper it,
polish it or do the quench in water if he does it in oil. You'll most
probably be met with a why don't you do it yourself reply.
All you do is acknowledge your preference for his work by commissioning
him, give him the type of blade you want, the general specifications and
let him do it the best he can and knows. That is the secret for having
great blades. The same applies to sword design. Either you trust
my ability and believe in all the work you have seen, or you would not
be ordering from me.
4. Don't ask me to repeat things I myself have done, or to copy
something you like but may not be technically feasible. I try my very
best to respect each customer's work. When I protect the uniqueness of
the sword of a former customer, I am also protecting your forthcoming
5. Remember that wherever you look at you are surrounded by
design, and when you work with me you can be assured that I have a
reputation of my own, at my own eyes, that I will protect. That means
that I will not do something that I dislike, and up to now,
my designs were very well received. On the other hand, see this as my
guarantee. I will not design something that I don't like.
If you understand these basic rules you are in for the best
I can deliver according to your general wishes.